Mme de Pompadour and Mme du Barry
I wrote about the colour pink a few weeks ago (you can read it here). Then recently I came across a pink conundrum that puzzled everyone I asked: is the hot pink ground colour of porcelain that became so popular in the 19th Century called 'rose pompadour' or 'rose du barry'? First of all, who were Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry? Well, in the old days any self-respecting French King would marry purely for political gain, and then keep a maîtresse for love. Mme de Pomp
Sea shells, feathers and a lion
A while ago you might have seen a wonderful set of plates similar to these, made by Chamberlains in Worcester in about 1815. That set was sold right away as they are so very rare - but I was lucky enough to get a second lot of the same service. So today I am introducing these to you. This set is a bit bigger (12 plates instead of 8) and it has two wonderful oval serving dishes. All plates are deep plates, so I guess this was meant for a wet kind of dessert... trifle? Somethin
What better to do on a muggy summer day than to go on a hike in the countryside? But if you struggle to get out, I know a way to see the most beautiful spots all over the United Kingdom without having to go very far... This very fine dessert service has stunning landscape paintings on each item, made by the famous painter George B. Johnson. The service was made by Royal Worcester in the year 1912. This is a rare piece of artistry; it has a beautifully muted dark blue "powdere
The spirit of invention
This month you can read my latest column in Homes & Antiques: The Spirit of Invention. I am writing about the very beginnings of porcelain in Britain in the 1740s. Although Britain was a bit late to the game - the continental Europeans had been at it for several decades - they made up for that with a wave of creative invention, tinkering and experimentation. Much of that was driven by immigrants from France and Belgium, who brought the continental porcelain secrets with them.